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CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter has defended the White House press secretary after she called the Fox News correspondent ‘a son of a b***h’, saying she’s possibly just ‘tired of all this’ after two years on the job and ‘maybe sharing how she really feels.’
Jen Psaki was asked on Thursday night, during a live recording of the podcast Pod Save America in Washington, D.C., if Peter Doocy was a ‘stupid son of a b***h’ or just played one on TV.
On January 24, President Joe Biden was caught on a hot mic calling Doocy a ‘stupid son of a b***h’ after Doocy asked Biden if inflation was a political liability for him.
‘He works for a network that provides people with questions that, nothing personal to any individual including Peter Doocy, but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a b***h,’ Psaki replied.
The episode was released online Friday.
Stelter on Friday was asked by CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota for his response to the ensuing uproar.
Camerota described Doocy as ‘a thorn in the side’ of Psaki, then asked: ‘But doesn’t that come with the territory?’
Press secretary Jen Psaki was a guest at a Pod Save America live taping Thursday night at the Anthem in Washington, D.C. and was asked if Fox News Channel’s White House correspondent Peter Doocy was a ‘stupid son of a b***h’ or just played one on TV
Brian Stelter, CNN’s media correspondent, was asked on Friday about the ensuing row
CNN’s @BrianStelter defends Jen Psaki saying Peter Doocy is “a stupid son of a b****” because he works for Fox News, saying “it does come with the territory” and “Fox pushes storylines that are sometimes nonsense.”
“She didn’t really criticize him directly.” pic.twitter.com/jLbddwraVD
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 15, 2022
In January, President Joe Biden was caught on hot mic calling Peter Doocy (pictured) a ‘stupid son of a b***h,’ which was the genesis of the Pod Save America question
Stelter replied: ‘It does come with the territory.
‘And I think the point she is trying to say there is that Fox pushes storylines that are sometimes nonsense. Doocy does that in the briefing room.
‘But still, she did it in a way playing to a liberal audience, that certainly is going to cause a lot of outrage from Fox. Probably for the next few days, right?’
Stelter defended Psaki, saying she was speaking her mind. Her insult caused widespread anger, but Stelter brushed it off.
‘I think Jen Psaki is kind of like – you remember in your senior year, spring of your senior year, when you are about to graduate, and you are just tired of all this?
‘I think we are seeing that from Jen Psaki.’
Earlier this month, news broke that Psaki was reportedly in talks with MSNBC to join the left-leaning network, once she were to leave her White House post. She is expected to step down in the coming months.
‘She is about to leave the White House, she’s going to go to a job, likely at MSNBC,’ said Stelter.
‘So she is kind of relaxing, and maybe sharing how she really feels.’
And Stelter further defended Psaki, saying her remarks were not intended as an attack on Doocy, the 34-year-old son of Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, himself.
‘But to be fair, she didn’t really criticize him directly,’ said Stelter.
‘She was really criticizing Fox News as an organization.’
Fox on Friday defended their White House correspondent, and denied that he was told what to ask.
‘In his role as White House correspondent, Peter Doocy’s job is to elicit truth from power for the American public,’ a spokesperson said.
‘His questions are his own, he is a terrific reporter and we are extremely proud of his work.’
Regarding her own future, Psaki wouldn’t give the podcast hosts a timeline for when she planned to step down.
‘I will not be there forever. That is what I can confer,’ she said.
‘I am not trying to be talking point-y in saying this is the best job I’ve ever had. It’s amazing in so many ways,’ she continued.
She said one of the greatest lessons she’s learned from giving briefings for the past 15 months is that ‘you’re not at a dinner party and you’re not at a bar,’ and so even if the questions get ‘repetitive’ she needed to answer them with respect, so a reporter couldn’t go online and ‘make you see like you’re Satan reincarnated.’
Psaki, pictured in the White House on Wednesday, is expected to take up a new job soon
Fox News Channel’s John Roberts, a former White House correspondent, clapped back at Psaki on Twitter
Psaki tangled with reporters, including NBC News’ Kristen Welker, over whether it was ethical for her to be discussing future job opportunities with employers like MSNBC while holding the position of press secretary.
Psaki argued that she’s handling it ethically.
‘Well, there are a range of stringent ethical and legal requirements that are imposed on everybody in this administration and many administrations past about any conversations you’re having with future employers,’ Psaki said from the podium earlier this month.
‘That is true of any industry you’re working in. And I have abided by those, and tried to take steps to go beyond that as well.’
But Michael Chamberlain, the director of the group Protect the Public’s Trust and an alum of the Trump administration, told DailyMail.com he believed Psaki could be in violation of the STOCK Act – which usually applies to insider trading.
‘If Jen Psaki is indeed in discussions about outside employment at a network with a presence in the White House briefing room, her criticism of Fox News, a competitor of her prospective employer, appears to be precisely the type of behavior the STOCK Act was designed to prevent,’ Chamberlain said in a statement Friday.
It also has a provision that federal employers who are negotiating or have an agreement for future employment must notify their respective government agency.
Some of the most viral exchanges Psaki’s had in the briefing room are ones she’s had with Doocy.
In January, Biden was caught on hot mic calling the Fox News correspondent a ‘stupid son of a b***h’ – which was the inspiration for the question.
Fox News Channel’s John Roberts, a former White House correspondent, criticized Psaki on Twitter saying: ‘Note to Press Sec: Peter Doocy makes the decisions on what topics he wants to quiz you on, and develops the questions himself. His philosophy is a basic tenet of journalism. Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.’
‘If that makes all of us “stupid s.o.b.s”, so be it,’ Roberts added.
Psaki on Thursday night added: ‘Can I tell a nice Peter Doocy story?’
She recalled how after Biden knocked Doocy, on January 24, the president called the reporter to apologize.
Doocy was then asked about the phone call on Sean Hannity’s show that night.
‘So he went on TV that night and I actually watched Sean Hannity to see what he said. My mind was like really bending and hurting,’ Psaki recalled.
‘If you can imagine, it was like flames and it was like “Crime! Crime! Crime!” and Kamala – the vice president is like walking through the flames and crime.
‘I don’t even know what was happening.
‘But Sean Hannity asked him about, you know, what the president had said and what he said back.
‘And he could have been like, “He’s a son of a b***h” or “I’m standing up for …” whatever, he would have said anything.
‘And instead he said, you know he called me, we had a really nice conversation, I’m just asking my questions, he’s doing his job,’ Psaki continued.
‘So I will say, that was a moment of grace – you don’t have to like everything Peter Doocy says or does, but that was certainly a moment of grace by Peter Doocy.’
On Hannity, Doocy said he didn’t hear Biden’s insult at first.
‘My reaction was delayed because as you can see the Biden staff were ushering us out.
‘They were telling us thank you, time to go. It wasn’t until we went to the basement and then outside and then back to the press room that somebody said “Hey, did you hear with the president said about you?”
‘I said, “No, what did he say?” “He called you a stupid SOB,”‘ Doocy recalled.
‘And I said “I did not hear that,” and I opened up my phone and… he did!’
Doocy said his cell phone rang with the president on the other line an hour later.
‘After years of clips of the president and I kind of mixing it up on the campaign trail and during the transition here at the White House, within about an hour of that exchange, he called my cell phone and he just said “It is nothing personal, pal.”
‘And we went back and forth and we were talking about moving forward and I made sure to tell him that I’m always going to try to ask something different than what everybody else is asking.
‘And he said, “You’ve got to.”
‘And that is the quote from the president, so I will keep doing it,’ he told Hannity.
Hannity asked Doocy if the president apologized.
‘He cleared the air. And I appreciate it. We had a nice call,’ Doocy replied.
Hannity expressed that he wasn’t satisfied.
‘To me that is not an answer. Did he apologize? That doesn’t sound like an apology,’ Hannity said, laughing.
‘He said, “It is nothing personal, pal,” and I told him I appreciated him reaching out,’ Doocy said.
‘Hey, Sean, the world is on the brink of like World War III right now. With all the stuff going on. I appreciate that the president took a couple minutes out as evening he was still the desk to give me a call and clear the air. But I don’t need anybody to apologize to me. He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking,’ Doocy continued.
‘The president said “Nothing personal pal.” It’s enough – we can move forward.’